A root canal is a dental procedure used to treat a tooth that has become infected or damaged in some way. The procedure involves removing the infected or damaged tissue inside the tooth and then filling and sealing the space to prevent further damage. Root canals are necessary when the tissue inside the tooth, known as the pulp, becomes infected or damaged and cannot be repaired through other means.
There are several signs that you may need a root canal, including:
- Severe toothache: A severe and persistent toothache may signify that the pulp inside your tooth is infected or damaged.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold: If you experience sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, it may indicate that the pulp inside your tooth is damaged.
- Swelling and tenderness: If you have swelling and tenderness in your gum tissue near the affected tooth, it may indicate that the pulp inside the tooth is infected.
- Darkening of the tooth: If the tooth becomes discolored or dark, it may indicate that the pulp inside the tooth is damaged or infected.
- Pain when biting or chewing: If you experience pain when biting or chewing, it may be a sign that the pulp inside your tooth is damaged or infected.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you must see a dentist as soon as possible. The earlier the root canal is performed, the less likely the tooth will need to be extracted.
Root canals are typically performed by an endodontist specializing in treating the inside of the tooth. The endodontist will numb the area around the tooth to minimize discomfort. They will then create an opening at the top of the tooth and remove infected or damaged tissue. The inside of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed to prevent further damage.
After the root canal procedure, it is important to take care of the treated tooth to ensure it heals properly. This may include taking over-the-counter pain medication as needed, avoiding chewing on the treated tooth, and practicing good oral hygiene. Your dentist may also recommend a crown, which is a cap that covers the treated tooth to protect it from further damage.
Overall, a root canal is a standard and relatively simple procedure used to treat a damaged or infected tooth. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, you must see a dentist as soon as possible to determine if a root canal is necessary.